Ownership is an Illusion

greed

The other day, I struggled with giving tithes and offerings to church.   It bothers me sometimes because I don’t know exactly what is “my” money being used for.  I can have faith that it will be used for a good cause (feeding the poor, giving homes to homeless, helping the elderly, etc) but I don’t know for sure.  I prefer to give directly to charity, so that I “know” what is it being used for.

This blog is about giving; about the importance of serving others without expecting immediate reward, just what Jesus taught us in the Beautitudes (Matthew 5).  But I can’t deny feeling a little uncomfortable with giving up some of my “possession” to others, especially after knowing that I worked hard to earn it. But at the same time,  I think of when Jesus taught about denying the self, walking the narrow path, for a camel to go through the eye of a needle easier than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  And then I say to myself, “Self, this is exactly what the process of living the Kingdom of Heaven entails: sacrificing the selfish, giving up the natural tendencies of my body in order to serve others, and therefore get closer to God”.

When I expressed my discomfort to my wife about giving the offerings, she quoted the Bible “God provided, God took away” (Job 1:21).  I contemplated on this.  I then thought about it further.  I concluded that I don’t own anything.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” Psalm 24:1.  The Bible is actually full of verses that repeatedly mention that we don’t own anything.  But God is the one who does (Exodues 9:29, Job 41:11, Haggain 2:8).  Not even my own body belongs to me (1 Corinthians 6:19).   If I think that I own the house I live in, the car I drive, the money I spend, the body that sustains me, then what do I do with them when my body dies ?(1 Timothy 6:7).  Nothing.  We like to pretend so much.  We like to be our own gods.  We like to live the illusion that what we have is actually ours.  It gives us a false sense of security.  The material things give us the fantasy that we can control things around us, including our selves.  Not even the children that my wife gave birth to our mine!  And this last statement actually hurts me a lot!  I can’t deny this feeling!  But the reality is, when my children grow up, what will I do to them?  Trying to continue to “own” them by overprotecting them, by giving them too many advices, will actually damage the relationship I will have with them. The key is to let go, and when I let go of something, do I really own it?  No.

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About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

7 responses to “Ownership is an Illusion

  • Cindy Holman

    I’ve seen this type of perceived “ownership” over children and even grandchildren first hand in my own family. It IS very damaging – and I learned early on that my children were only on loan to me – a gift that God entrusted to me – for just a little while. Our money is the same – but that is hard for me as well. Very hard. I detest building programs at churches. Ask my husband – we used to get into quite the “discussion” about it – even when he was a pastor and on staff at one of these churches that was in a building program – not just once but several times. I struggle with it. Is it God’s idea for bigger buildings – or ours? We now belong to a tiny little church plant of about 50 people – not even the denomination that either one of us was raised in – pretty “out of the box” stuff for us. And I now enjoy giving, what little I have – because I know how this little church struggles and I know directly what it is used for – there’s something nice about that. It feels like I’m making a difference – and aside from obedience in giving – maybe that’s the reason it seems to fit better – at least for me.

  • easylifestyles

    Another excellent post thanks for sharing! I enjoy reading your blog very much. Spending time with my family is something I love to do.

    Fun Family Activities

  • livingsuicidal

    The kids will let u know when they r ready for u to let go of them. 🙂 BTW, it hurts a little.
    Have u decided what to do with the money?
    I have lived on the streets, and in shelters before. Salvation Army was there when I needed them. And when I come across a homeless person, I always give them money; even if it is my last dollar. Hugs LS

  • livingsuicidal

    Noel,you might like this quote:
    “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”
    — Mother Teresa

  • Viviana

    Hi Noel!

    This post reminds me what Jesus really wants that we do, with the fruit of our hard work. The Lord is the owner of gold and silver, he doesn’t need our money. He wants that we give meaning to the money helping to people that really needs it. That is the value that Jesus gives to the money; and also he looks within our heart the intentions with which we do things.

    Jesus wishes that we give without expecting receive. And be careful with the prosperity theology, that is not biblical.

    Thank you for this post. Is very inspiring.

    God bless you.

  • Marianne Lordi

    Good for you, Noel. You understand something that takes most people all of their life……everything belongs to God! When you truly comprehend that truth, it will actually free you to do more. And take it to the limit – how much of your time do you give to God? Even the breath in our lungs belongs to him.

  • God versus Humans: Part 2 | Living the Kingdom

    […] evil as evidence.  We try very hard to live independently. We try to own our lives.  But we truly own nothing.  Not even our own bodies. Once our bodies die, we lose them […]

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